When you know, you know. That's what they always say. Bill knew, maybe not from the moment he met her, maybe not for quite a while, but Bill knew. Lynn, she was the girl of his dreams, the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. The one he wanted to wake up next to. The one he wanted to lay down with at three o'clock for a nap, after fifteen years, with autumn's melancholy sunlight falling across her pale skin. It was her. Her or nothing. Her or no one. He needed her. He wanted her. He got her. After spending the summer nursing a quickly budding romance, the two were hopelessly in love. Bill was a lovesick wreck, lost in the beautiful, blue grey eyes of his tangible dream. After only four short months of romance, the nineteen-year-old college student approached not only his dream girl at this point, but the one he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be the love of his life, and asked her to marry him. Without hesitation she agreed. Everything was perfect, everything was right. They moved in together. They fell more in love every day, and could barely keep their eyes, or hands, off each other. Finally, Bill got his three o'clock nap, it was an afternoon in the early fall, and the light was shining into their bedroom window, falling softly on the small electric piano he used from time to time. On it was the sheet music for "Believe" by the Beatles. The tune was as melancholy as the afternoon light when he played it on his piano, and whenever he played it his heart squirmed and fluttered as he thought of Lynn. She woke up first, as she often did. Instead of waking him, she watched him sleep, as she always did, quietly smiling at the peaceful look he had on his face. Finally, she gently shook him to try and wake him.

"Hey baby, wake up," she said smiling.

"Urghmmm. Whaat?"

She giggled, "I have to go mail the invitations. Do you want to come?

"Ugghhhh. Okayyy," he groaned, rolling over slightly, eyes still closed.

"No. No you go back to sleep, you're tired. I'll take care of it honey."

"Lynn. I'm no fool, close as I may get when returning to consciousness. Obviously, I'm wanted. Otherwise, I can think of around zero reasons why I would have to be woken up for this."

His retort was intended light heartedly, but the look that rolled over her face, disappearing nearly before even showing up, had been one he would never forget. Slightly offended, as if unsure how she should take his thoughtless remark. Stung, that he hadn't jumped at the opportunity to spend time with her. Hurt, that maybe sometimes, she wouldn't always come first. Then shoved the feeling away as quickly as she'd hidden the face, and replaced both with her beautiful smile. He returned it in the form of a cute, just waking up smile, and he fooled her, and even, for a while at least, himself, into believing he'd never seen the look at all.

"You'd better go back to bed fast, before I find something to do with you!" she scolded, while simultaneously, she smiled at him and quickly winked, looking down at him.

"Mmm! No!" he rolled away playfully. But then he stayed there. The look clouded her face again. But she pushed it away once more. He was tired. It'd be okay. She'd be back soon, he'd be up, and this would be quickly forgotten. She left the bed and walked to the doorway, stopped, came back to the bed, and kissed him deeply.

"See you soon," she said.

His eyes stayed closed, and his voice began to soften as sleep began to take him, but a smile played on his lips.

"I love you."

"I love you too."

He finally forced himself to wake up, frowning when he saw it was five o'clock. He wondered why Lynn hadn't come back yet, and got the sick feeling all new lovers get when faced with the absence of their significant other for more than a few minutes. He wanted to see her. To touch her. Why was she taking so long? He called her phone. Off. Of course. He sat down at the piano, and played around a little on the keys, playing nothing in particular. After a moment of silence, he played "Believe". It was then he began to get worried. Halfway through playing the song again, the phone rang. It was the hospital. The first thing that came to mind when he walked into the room was that it was a good thing, the last thing she had said to him before she left was "I love you". At that dark thought, tears instantly streamed, down his cheeks, onto the cold hospital floor. His head rolled to hang back over his neck, and his hands quickly met it, covering his face until he could face the sight like the man he needed to be. Right now. He sat next to her, leaning as close as possible, holding her hand as firmly as he dared and as gently as possible, for she seemed as delicate as a fallen leaf. It was now. Now or nothing. Now or never. She needed this. Neither wanted this. Neither got their wish. Tubes stuck out of her mouth, keeping her from speaking. All she could do was stare at him, desperately, longingly, sorrowfully, regretfully, and other emotions so confusing and unreadable they passed him by same as earlier, as she continued to stare, just as she'd done earlier. He could do less, thinking only to whisper the meaningless words of any imbecile talking to someone, who they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, was going to end up anything but alright. Tears. Tubes. Tests. Thoughts, followed closely by whispers, secret things, things not from his own mind, but things he would always be grateful for, since he'd had the words to say to her in the end. And then, the line. He stared at the heart rate monitor, stunned, despite the predictability of the situation, then twirled back faster than he'd believed he could move. He'd gotten half of the world 'love' out when he realized what was missing. Her eyes were grey now, and his heart was gone. He sat and stared at her for a while, frowning, thinking that there must be some simple solution, she had a cold, the heart monitor had gone bad, the end of the world was causing strange electrical currents to set off alarms, anything that would be easier to understand than the concept of her being gone. Finally, they came and turned the monitor off, and when they did, he looked up expectantly, waiting for them to explain the current apocalypse, however they simply turned off the monitor, and said they were sorry, then walking out to watch some unlucky bastard lose his life, and then hold her in his arms. Sorry for what? All he remembered was the green line, running straight across his eyes. Straight through his heart. What was it she had said? I love you? Why hadn't she said it again? And again? I love you, too? Had that been her or him? Did it matter? Did he? Did anything? She had. She was gone.

He finished playing "Believe" for the twenty-third time that day, and sat staring out the window as he always did after completing the piece. Well, he never really stared out, just at the line on the window that ran across his vision reminding him of a certain green line that ran through his heart. This was all he ever did anymore. He played this song. Once a day he would eat. He would go to the bathroom. He would sleep. Family members would bring him groceries every so often, though lately they'd been buying his food more in bulk, cutting down on reasons to stop by. They always brought him, her favorites; it was all he would touch. Friends used to bring food as well. He didn't have any of those anymore. It wasn't his fault. She was gone. Did anything matter anymore? No one could make him move. For now that he'd lost his love, love was all that made him move. He was done. It was over for him. He stared at the hole in the tree branches where the three o'clock sun poured through the hole in the trees, and then through the window. The light illuminated the area by the door of the room. Lynn stood there.

"That was pretty, baby. Was it for me?"

"It's always for you."

"Awh. I miss you. Come here. I want to kiss you."

"You're not real," he stated, matter-of-factly, though the hurt he inflicted upon himself by saying those words blossomed in his eyes, eyes he would refuse to meet her with, like blood from a picked scab, "I know that by now."

"What do you mean darling? I'm standing right here. Turn around for me honey. I want to see your face."

"No. Plea-" He slowly turned on the seat, as if maneuvered by some giant, invisible hand, to face her, jaw clenched, eyes shaking, as if they were about to release the tears he had been fighting against for the past four years. It was her. She was wearing the cute dress she'd always worn, white on top, with the flowers on the bottom, flowers that had only become more defined over time, while the flower's on that same dress, hanging in the closet beside her. Straight, brown hair on top, and black flats on the bottom. Yeah that was his girl all right. Same Lynn, everyday.

"Come on. Come here."


"Please baby? I want you to do something for me. Just one thing then you can play some more. Okay?"

He stared at her, biting the inside of his lips now covered in scars, eye's filling, nearly spilling. He looked up, and sighed, before lowering his eyes back to her, barely under control, and answering: "You know I'll do anything you want. I've made the mistake of not doing so one too many times."

She tilted her head, innocent blue eyes meeting his as if curious, yet she didn't ask anything of him.

He went to her. He held her. He heard her whisper. He smelled her. It smelled just like her. Almost. WHY ALMOST? Why was it ALWAYS almost? Always! He could never quite remember her scent. It drove him insane, or more so in any case. It drove him to the brink. To the brink of what? Everything. To-

She put his hand on the gun where it lay on his desk. Where he always left it. Unless, it was one of those rare occasions in which someone came by.

"You said you would do one thing for me baby. You said you would do anything. I miss you."

The look came over her face, that unforgettable look. That same terrifying, awful, unbearable, and excruciating look, from four years ago. The look he'd never even glimpsed before that day, but he'd had to look at every day since.

"A clouds coming darling. You know I can't stay in the shade."

"Of course you can't. You're the light of my life."

"Or just the light of your day, maybe?"

"No! You know that isn't true!"

Her lips, frowned in a pout, and she crossed her arms. "Then, how is it you only want to see me at three? The same exact time, everyday never a second sooner or later and gone as soon as a cloud comes or the light moves. You don't see me at all on cloudy days, or on days that a cloud happens to block the sun even for a split second at four o'clock. Can't you understand where I'm coming from baby? Don't you see it from my point of view?"

"Lynn! You know that's not by my own choice! I want to spend the rest of my life with you! You know that. We both want that! Please, don't accuse me of that, you know I want that more than anything!"

"I know baby." She smiled, her perfect rows of amazingly straight, white teeth shown brighter than the forlorn sunlight that surrounded her. At the mention of the rest of their lives, Lynn had held up the her left hand, displaying a small diamond that held more value to him, than any other stone in the world, but only when it was on her finger, it was worthless to him in the red velvet box on his nightstand, it's home for the past for years, instead of around the finger it was intended for. The green line through his heart grew teeth to match. "So?'

He backed away. Shaking his head. Mouth shut firm, eye squinting to hold on to the tears just a little longer.

Her pouting face came back, overriding her malicious, and loving smile. "Why not? I MISS YOU. Don't you miss me?"

He nodded. "Always," he croaked.

"Then what's stopping you? Why not?"

"Because, its not for you. For a second there, I fooled me. I always do. Every day. Well, every sunny day. But I caught on. Like I always do. Its not you. Its never really, you. You left. I saw it. I saw you out."

"Why is it not me? How?"

"Because. Lynn wanted the best for me. She always did. She wanted me to be the best I could be for myself first, and then for her. All the time. Every time. No matter what. She would never have wanted that for me," he explained, nodding at the gun. She wouldn't have let it happen. Just like I shouldn't have let it happen."

"But Bill, why do you see me? What if I do want it? What if this is me? How do you know it's not really me?"

"Because, my head keeps this image locked up tight, never letting it fade even a bit, and over the years your every feature has only grown stronger. You're not moving on, away from me. Even if Lynn wanted to see me as desperately as you claim, she's not the one that wants it now. Lynn would've taken a bullet for me before, and she would definitely not lead me to put one in myself now. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe you are my girl, and you've seen now I'm better off blowing my brains out, I can not believe it, no matter what. If the girl I know, and the one I loved, is not the same girl that exists now, then what's the point of ending this anyways. My point is, I know you're just a memory; a part of myself, grasping on to the memories of her that I won't ever learn to let go of. That's why the gun's there. That's why the gun's always there. Because every time you tell me to pull that trigger, I can be sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you're not the girl that left me here. There is no longer a doubt in my mind which of us, Lynn or I, wants a bullet in my brain. Trust me. Lynn would never ask something like that of me."

I turned away from where her image stood, losing definition as the sun moved slowly away. He closed his eyes to avoid seeing the sun disappear from the hole in the trees. "I'm sorry, better luck next time. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe you'll trick me then! I hope you do. Please trick me. Please, let's make it tomorrow! I don't want to live without you anymore. Tomorrow sounds good, let's do that? I don't want to I don't want… I don't…"

She was gone. He could feel it. Even with his back turned and his eyes closed, vainly holding back the unstoppable tears. He knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she; the terrifying shadow of his doubts was gone. For one more day, his doubts of how things might've turned out that day, had he drove with her to send the invitations. The sun was gone behind the clouds, and his shadow had gone back behind her walls.

"I love you."

As usual, there was no response. That must mean, it had been her that had said it first after all, he thought, finally convincing himself, as he had everyday for the past four years.

He opened his eyes and began to play, staring straight ahead as the tears began to come in silent streams, splashing on keys colder that a hospital floor. He would try again tomorrow though, perhaps tomorrow she would say she loved him in the end, or maybe tomorrow she would convince him to go with her. That's what would happen. Tomorrow was the day, as it had been for the past four years.

He stopped playing, keeping his hand's just above the surface of the keys, his eyes staring off into the distance, seeing nothing, yet seeing again, as he hadn't done in years. A hammer hit him in the chest, and he collapsed on his keyboard, sobbing. He stayed like this for hours, until finally, he managed to control himself. Slowly, he picked himself up and with clarity of mind that seemed unusual, he glanced around the room he'd stayed in for four years, and hadn't seen since then either. He looked at the gun and his eyes began to tremble. Tomorrow, he would rid himself of its tempting presence. No more considering, the easy way out, and no more shadows, hanging on his doubts. No more denial, no more "Because", because it was time do be the man that Lynn deserved, and to live life to make her proud. He looked out of the window again, and decided to stop cutting the branches between the sun shone through at three, and he decided to against, being in his room anymore at three. Two decisions, that ten minutes ago would have seemed unbearable, now seemed like the only real thing to do, though the pain he felt at even considering facing the pain he'd buried for so long. While he'd pushed down the pain, he'd still felt it, because not only had he pushed down the pain, but he'd covered himself. He'd given her everything he was, and when he lost that, he had to subdue his very heart and soul to even begin to put away the pain. He stood up and stared out the window, for a few seconds more. No, he wouldn't live his life for three in the afternoon anymore, and he wouldn't check the forecast desperately hoping for sun, and dreading the presence of a single cloud. His life would never be the same, and while every sunny day, at three p.m. he would think forlornly of the girl he'd loved and lost. In the spring afternoons, which he was never able to call claim her as his own, he would think fondly back upon the days his heart could love, and could feel his love returned. But while he could fantasize about daydreaming of her with a wistful smile sometime in his future, for now his empty chest still ached. For now, he'd be praying for rain.